Letterkenny was among the worst affected hospitals in the country for patients waiting without beds in May.
9,015 admitted patients were forced to wait without hospital beds this month nationally, according to a new monthly analysis by the INMO.
This is a 114% increase on May 2006, when figures began. University Hospital Limerick and South Tipperary General Hospital recorded their worst May ever for overcrowding.
Among the 9,015 patients were 78 children.
The worst-affected hospitals last month were:
University Hospital Limerick: 1,102 patients
Cork University Hospital: 824 patients
South Tipperary General Hospital: 661 patients
Naas General Hospital: 479 patients
Letterkenny University Hospital: 477 patients
INMO general secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha said:
“We are entering the milder summer months, when predictable seasonal illnesses are lower yet the level of overcrowding is worsening. Overcrowding in May 2019 is now at the same level as January 5 years ago. Clearly this is a capacity deficit and requires immediate investment in additional hospital beds.
“Considering the evidence of this continued increasing activity in our public health service, it is simply unacceptable that the HSE and Department of Health have introduced a recruitment pause. We know that this will simply lead to a chronic understaffing and overcrowding problem without any regard to person-centred solutions.
“Overcrowding and understaffing mean patients take longer to recover. That means worse care, higher costs, and greater risk of infection. Investment in beds and safe staffing is key to resolving this ongoing crisis.”